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"Team of Mavericks"

mav-er-ick: n.
1. An unbranded range animal, especially a calf that has become separated from its mother, traditionally considered the property of the first person who brands it.
2. One that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group; a dissenter.

Assuming John McCain hasn’t spent the last several years referring to himself as a lost calf, we can safely conclude his famous nickname refers to his habit of bucking the trend and not going along with the rest of the group. A rebel who plays by his own rules. A Maverick.

Sarah Palin says she, too, is a maverick, and that’s why John McCain chose her as his running mate. Shakin’ up the groupthink, Daddy-o, blowin’ your mind. And when the revolution comes, man, and all the Joe six-packs, hockey moms and real Americans vote them into office, McCain and Palin are going to round up all their maverick friends and really challenge the system. Of course, once elected, they will be the establishment that they’ve been rebelling against, but that’s not important. The important thing is, as Palin made clear in her VP debate with that old stuffed shirt Joe Biden, they’re just the ticket to really shake things up. “A team of mavericks.”

Just one maverick would be enough to think outside of the box. Two together would tear down the walls of conformity and reform everything in sight. Just imagine what a team of mavericks would accomplish?

No, seriously, you’d have to imagine it, because nothing would actually get done. A “team of mavericks” is the same as an “organization of nonconformists,” or “group of loners;” a walking contradiction rendered ineffective by virtue of their own description.

And if this “team of mavericks” did manage to put aside their mavericky impulses and agree on anything, what would it look like? When everyone starts thinking outside of the box, the insane becomes the norm. World peace through aggressive, unilateral military action; energy independence through favoring oil companies; paying for healthcare tax credits by taxing the hell out of people’s healthcare……These people put the “moron” in “oxymoron.”

The other possibility is that McCain, Palin and the rest of their warmed-over Bush crew aren’t really mavericks at all, but merely willing to cast aside long-held principles if it advances their quest for more power whenever the wind shifts direction. It doesn’t even matter if they don’t really support, much less understand, their new positions (See Palin, civil unions and “tolerance”). The temporary advantage it gives them among pundits and in the polls will suffice, until it’s time to “shake things up” again and revert back to their original stance.

That’s not a maverick. That’s an opportunist.

– Michael Turner